Day 2 In Bogotá Colombia Continued: Monserrate

After learning to play Tejo and enjoying a local lunch, it was time for us to continue our tour with a visit to Monserrate. Monserrate is a mountain located in the center of Bogotá, which is more than 10,000 feet above sea level. In order to get to the top of the mountain, one can walk, take a funicular train, or a cable car. We took the cable car, since it was the fastest and easiest means of transportation.
Upon arriving to the top of the mountain, we came across a type of plant called the angel trumpet bird which hummingbirds are attracted to, and which are unfortunately used by many to make date rape drugs.
At the top of Monserrate, there is a church which contains the Lady of Monserrat (Matron Saint of Monserrat), a replica of what can be found in Catalunya, near Barcelona. This replica has been around since 1630, and was fixed over in the eighteenth century. The mountain was named Monserrate due to this famous image being held here. This was supposed to be the main focal point to see (besides the view of course) here on Monserrate, but now, it is most famous for its statue of Jesus Christ being taken off the cross named “El Señor Caído,” (fallen Lord).
In 1656, the statue of Jesus, which is pictured below was brought to Monserrate. The hair on the statue is actual human hair, and if you’re wondering whose hair it is, I had the same question, but was not able to get a definitive answer.
The rest of the church was completed in 1925 and is a beautiful place of worship, not only for the incredible artifacts inside, but for the breathtaking view outside as well. As we walked around Monserrate, we spent a few minutes adjusting to the high altitude level by drinking coca tea. As a snack, hormigas culonas were passed around for us to sample, which translates to “Big ass ants.” Hormigas culonas have their name because the rear end of the ants are much larger in size. Only the queen ants are eaten, since the others are not considered edible. Often times, the wings and legs are removed, as the ants are soaked in salty water and roasted as a delicacy. I couldn’t bring myself to indulge in the ant eating, but both my brother and sister did, and watching them eat it was still quite the experience.
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Day 2 In Bogotá, Colombia Continued: Club De Tejo

After leaving the Museo del Oro, we made a stop at the local Club de Tejo, a local sporting staple in the city. To play the game, each individual gets a few metal discs, or tejos and has to throw them in the center of a one meter by one meter board covered with clay. The clay area is surrounded by gun powder, and if your tejo hits any of the gun powders, causing a minor explosion, you receive three points. If your tejo lands in the middle of clay and the middle of the gun powder, you receive six points. And if your tejo hits a gun powder and still lands in the middle, you get nine points.

What was interesting to me is the fact that at this particular Club de Tejo, there are urinals in between each station. Apparently when the game is so intense, bathroom breaks must be quick. After learning how to play, we each tried to become Tejo masters, but unfortunately, I had no luck.

After picking up this new sport, we made our way to Crepes and Waffles, a delicious chain restaurant found in various South American countries. Although we were in Colombia, I ordered Crepes de pollo a la Huancaína, which is chicken crepes in a Peruvian cream sauce. Our meal was delicious, and it was just what we needed before getting ready to continue with our tour to Monserrate.